Tech giant Google, has disclosed that it is expanding a verification program for financial services ads to tackle financial scams.
According to the company, the program which was launched in the UK last summer has seen a “pronounced decline” in reports of ads promoting financial scams.
First in line to get the requirement, as part of a phased expansion of the policy, are Australia, Singapore and Taiwan. But Google states that it plans to further expand the verification requirements to advertisers in additional countries and regions in the coming months.
Meanwhile, the verification layer sits atop Google’s financial products and services policy- looping in a local financial regulator which advertisers must demonstrate that they are authorized to have their financial services ads accepted by Google. In the process, this new service thereby adds a layer of security against the adtech giant accepting and running ads for crypto investment scams and the like.
In the UK the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the regulatory body that financial services advertisers must demonstrate they are authorized by. Equivalent oversight bodies will come into play in the three new markets.
Google indicated that advertisers wanting to promote financial products and services in these markets will be able to apply for verification at the end of June, 2022, with the policy slated to go into effect on August 30, 2022.
Google Director Warns
Alejandro Borgia, a Google director of ads privacy and safety, warned in a blog post that advertisers who failed to meet the deadline would be logged out.
“Advertisers that have not completed the new verification process by this date will no longer be allowed to promote financial services.”Alejandro Borgia
The Google director of ads privacy and safety added that his organization is doing its possible best to stop the advertisement of financial scam.
“We work tirelessly to make sure the ads we serve are safe and trustworthy, and we know that partnering and collaborating with government regulators is critical to our success. That’s why we’re closely coordinating with regulators in these three markets to make sure this program is effective at scale.”Alejandro Borgia
However, Google did not offer any data to back up its claim that the policy change has led to a substantial decline in reports of financial scam ads in the UK market- offering only an overall (global) figure for ads that it blocked or removed in 2021 (58.9 million) for violating its financial services policies, culled from its 2021 Ads Safety Report.
Prior to launching the financial ads verification policy in the UK, Google has been under pressure from the FCA to tackle scams, with the regulator threatening legal action if Google continued to accept unscreened financial ads.